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UK Pork Imports Fall in September

16 November 2015, at 12:00am

UK - Following two months of strong growth, UK imports of pork decreased in September by 7 per cent, compared with a year earlier, to 28,700 tonnes, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

This is the lowest level of imports for September in over a decade. Nevertheless, for the first nine months of the year, UK pork imports were the largest amount over the same period of time since 2011, although only 1 per cent up on last year.

While volumes declined in September, the value of pork imports was also down by 21 per cent on the year, at £47.4 million, as unit prices were sharply lower. This suggests that UK pig meat supplies were meeting more of domestic demand.

Denmark, the largest exporter of pork to the UK, sent 6 per cent less in September compared to a year before, while Germany exported 9 per cent less.

Imports from the Netherlands were also down by 4 per cent to 44,400 tonnes. The overall decline was mitigated by a sharp rise in imports of Spanish pork, which were up by more than half over the last three months, with a similar growth rate in September.

Bacon imports also decreased in September, by 10 per cent, with lower Danish shipments contributing to the fall.

Once again, the value of trade for September declined, by 18 per cent year on year. Processed and sausage imports did increase in September, with shipments from Germany and Ireland contributing.

In September, pork exports were slightly up compared to a year before at 17,900 tonnes, with shipments to Denmark, likely for re-export, and smaller markets such as the US and Poland being contributing factors.

Exports to China, the UK’s largest market, decreased by 4 per cent year on year, which may be an indication that its economy is easing.

The value of exports decreased again in September, by 11 per cent to £18.8 million, compared to a year earlier.

However, this is the highest value of exports since October 2014, as shipments rise seasonally at this time of year.

Pig offal exports had a very strong month and were up by 88 per cent in September, with shipments to China more than doubling to a record 3,500 tonnes.

Exports to Hong Kong were also up marginally, while sales to the rest of the EU rose by more than half.

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